Auto Mounting AirPort NAS - Solved!

Discussion in 'macOS' started by MacDann, Jun 3, 2008.

  1. MacDann macrumors 6502a


    Mar 27, 2007
    Can see the end of the Earth from here
    I see bits and pieces that relate to my problem, but nothing specific in searches, so here I go:

    I have an Airport Extreme with an attached hard drive. I'm running OS X 10.5.2 on an Intel iMac that is attached to the Airport via ethernet.

    Time Machine recognized the external drive and backs up to it flawlessly, however, the drive itself is not mounted at startup. If I open a finder window, the Airport shows up under the "Shared" category, which I can click on to show the NAS.

    Once I do this, the NAS drive is mounted and appears on my desktop.

    This causes problems for iTunes, as my iTunes library is located on the NAS, meaning that every time I log in and run iTunes, I have to "point" it at the NAS drive.

    I know that there was a provision to auto mount a drive in previous OS's, but I don't see anything here as far as System Preferences or with contextual menus.

    What am I missing? Can I mount the NAS and then drag it to the dock?

    There has to be an easy way to auto mount an external drive.....

    Thanks in advance for the help!

  2. liketom macrumors 601


    Apr 8, 2004
    put the drive in startup items in login prefs i think ,will auto mount the drive so you can use as iTune folder
  3. MacDann thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Mar 27, 2007
    Can see the end of the Earth from here
    Thanks, I'll give that a try... I know this is something simple...

  4. MacDann thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Mar 27, 2007
    Can see the end of the Earth from here
    I *knew* it would be something simple....

    1.) Mount the drive you want to mount on start up.

    2.) Open up System Preferences > Accounts and open up the preferences for the account. Click on "Login Items" to show the list in the right hand window.

    3.) Click and drag the mounted drive from the desktop into the Login Items window.

    4.) Close out of System Preferences and you're done!

  5. CLuv macrumors 6502

    Apr 9, 2007
    Northern VA, USA
    Great tip, I've been looking for this. So easy too, but how do I get it not open Finder when I login to my computer? The drive mounts to the desktop, but Finder shows the drive contents also. Anyway to prevent that from happening, but keep the drive mounted to the desktop?


  6. MacDann thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Mar 27, 2007
    Can see the end of the Earth from here
    Beats me. I'm just pleased that I can get it to mount on startup. If I find out how to keep the finder window from opening, I'll post something here. Right now it's not a priority, so it may be a while...

  7. CLuv macrumors 6502

    Apr 9, 2007
    Northern VA, USA
    Thanks, I'm going to see what I can find also.
  8. SBPatterson macrumors newbie

    Jun 5, 2008
    I am having the same issue regarding NAS and found this, but I have not tried it yet.

    Automounting Sharepoints at Startup

    Remember in Mac OS 9 how easy it was to mount a server automatically on startup? All you had to do was check that little box in the dialog asking you which volumes you wanted to mount. This check box isn't available in Mac OS X, and placing an alias to servers in your login items isn't exactly the solution either. Mac OS X does provide, however, a method to mount server volumes on startup that comes from the Unix/NetInfo roots of Mac OS X. This feature is called the "automount daemon".

    In the past, configuring automount would have involved editing some text files in the invisible depths of the System. Mac OS X provides a database that stores many of these configurations, though, making the management of these configurations much easier. This database is the NetInfo database, and can be edited with the NetInfo Manager application in your Utilities folder. Note that the NetInfo DB also contains user account information and other information that is important to making your computer run correctly. Editing this database can have negative consequences, and is not supported by Apple, so you will be performing these tasks at your own risk. That said, as long as you follow these instructions closely, it is very unlikely that you will cause irreversible harm to your system. You can backup your NetInfo database in the NetInfo Manager by selecting "Save Backup" from the "Management" menu.

    In a typical NetInfo deployment environment, there is a master NetInfo parent that maintains directory information that is shared with all the client machines. For example, if your computer was "bound" to a NetInfo parent machine, your computer would be able to use that machine's NetInfo DB. In such a setup, it would only be necessary to modify automount settings on one machine; every machine that was bound to this NetInfo server would automatically take advantage of the new settings. Mac OS X Server is setup this way; creating automatically mounted sharepoints is as easy as checking a couple of checkboxes and configuring the clients to bind to the NetInfo server. Setting up a Mac OS X Server is beyond the scope of this article, though. Here, I will describe how to setup a standalone client to mount any server's sharepoints automatically on startup.

    Automount background

    There are only a few properties in an automount NetInfo entry. The picture below is an example entry.

    • name
    Name of the server and path to the sharepoint.
    • vfstype
    Virtual filesystem type. Possible values: url, nfs
    • opts
    There can be one or two values in this property. The url path to the sharepoint is defined here. If this sharepoint is to be dynamically mounted, then the "net" value should also be included here. This property is not required for statically mounted NFS sharepoints.
    • dir
    This is the local directory where the sharepoint will be mounted. Statically mounted sharepoints will have a value something like /Network/sharepoint_name. Dynamically mounted sharepoints will always have a value of /Network/Servers/. The value must be in /Network.

    Creating an automount entry

    Before you begin, you need four pieces of information:
    1. Server name or IP address (,
    2. Path of the sharepoint (/Users, /Applications)
    3. How is the sharepoint shared (AFP or NFS)
    4. Where do you want the sharepoint to mount: dynamically in /Network/Servers or statically in /Network

    Static vs. dynamic mounting

    When you mount a sharepoint statically, it is mounted during startup and available immediately when you click on its icon. You can assign statically mounted sharepoints specific directories within the /Network directory (that blue globe you see sitting next to all the other volumes on your system). Dynamic sharepoints always reside in /Network/Servers/server_name. They do not actually mount when the computer is started up, instead, they mount on the fly when you request information from them (e.g., when you double-click on its icon). Static sharepoints have the advantage of being assigned to specific directories within /Network and being available immediately. Dynamic sharepoints have the advantage of using less server resources when the sharepoint is not being used. Apple recommends having User home directories served on dynamically mounted sharepoints, while statically mounting other resources, such as a Library folder.

    Here's what to do

    1. Launch NetInfo Manager; it is located in the /Applications/Utilities folder.
    2. Authenticate by clicking on the lock in the lower left corner.
    3. Click on the /mounts directory.
    4. Click on "New+" icon. An item named "new_directory" will appear.
    5. Double-click on the value "new_directory" for the "name" property and change it to "servername:/sharepoint". You can use the IP address, the hostname or the fully qualified hostname in place of servername.
    6. Select "New Property" from the "Directory" menu. Set the property name to "vfstype". Set the value to "url" if this is an AFP sharepoint or "nfs" if this is an NFS sharepoint.
    7. Skip this step for statically mounted NFS sharepoints. Otherwise, select "New Property" from the "Directory" menu. Set the property name to "opts". If this is a dynamically mounting NFS sharepoint, set the value to "net". Follow the instructions below for static and dynamic AFP sharepoints:
    Special steps for AFP sharepoints only:
    + Set the "opts" value to:
    + If this sharepoint will mount dynamically, click on the opts property and select "Insert Value" from the "Directory" menu. Set the value to "net".
    8. Select "New Property" from the "Directory" menu. Set the property to "dir". If this sharepoint will mount dynamically, set the value to "/Network/Servers/". If this is a statically mounted sharepoint, set the value to "/Network/sharepoint".
    9. Select "Save Changes" from the "Domain" menu and restart the computer. Verify that the sharepoint mounted correctly in the appropriate location in the /Network directory.
    Alternatively, you can use the application SharePoints AutoMounter to setup these settings, though it only sets up dynamic mounts.
    Note that you must have guest access enabled on an AFP sharepoint in order to automount it. See the Mac OS 10.2 Server Administrator's guide for more details on setting up sharepoints.


    Dump of a typical /mount entry:

    "name" = ( "mounts" );
    CHILDREN = (
    "name" = ( "roscoe:/Users" );
    "opts" = ( "net", "url==afp://;AUTH=NO%20USER%20AUTHENT@" );
    "dir" = ( "/Network/Servers/" );
    "vfstype" = ( "url" );
    "name" = ( "roscoe:/home-alt" );
    "opts" = ( "url==afp://;AUTH=NO%20USER%20AUTHENT@" );
    "dir" = ( "/Network/Music" );
    "vfstype" = ( "url" );
  9. KPERI macrumors newbie

    Apr 2, 2008
    Any idea for this ???????????????

  10. iStian macrumors newbie

    Sep 23, 2009
    I am also wondering about this!!! The finder window that keeps showing up is really getting on my nerves.
  11. dergoog macrumors newbie

    Apr 9, 2003
    Columbus, Ohio
    Try selecting "hidden" in the options for the startup item.

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